Sling TV clarifies broadcast network reach

Sling TV

While the regional availability and program rights access of the major broadcast networks on virtual pay-TV services remains somewhat of a mystery, credit Sling TV for responding to a query asking for clarification of just where the Big Four networks it carries can be seen.

FOX and NBC are only available to subscribers of Sling TV’s newer $25-a-month “Blue” platform. And live feeds of local stations are only available in markets where the networks have owned and operated stations. For all other markets, network shows can be accessed on an on-demand basis only.

Live feeds of ABC can only be obtained by purchasing the $5-a-month “Broadcast Extra” package, which also includes Univision and UniMas. The local ABC channels are only available in O&O markets, and there is no on-demand availability outside those markets. The ABC markets include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia and San Francisco, and also Fresno-Visalia, California, and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

RELATED: DirecTV Now, Sling and Vue Golden Globes blackout exposes broadcast limitations for v-MVPD services

Sling Blue subscribers can only see live local feeds of FOX in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Detroit, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Phoenix and Charlotte, North Carolina, and Austin, Texas, as well as Gainesville, Tampa and Orlando, Florida.

As for NBC, live viewing on Blue is confined to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, the Bay Area, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., San Diego, Miami/Fort Lauderdale and Hartford/New Haven. 

Notably, CBS is not available on DirecTV Now, but it snow available Sony PlayStation Vue. A CBS rep wouldn't comment as to whether the service includes access to CBS affiliate groups. 

The Sling response came after FierceCable inquired to some of the major virtual MVPD operators Tuesday regarding the reach of their broadcast network deals. AT&T has yet to respond regarding DirecTV Now.

Sling TV has pointedly noted that its service is not a replacement for traditional pay-TV. But its advertising sends a different message, enticing consumers to ditch cable in favor of its IP-based MVPD service. 

UPDATE: This story was updated on Jan. 11 to reflect the fact that Sony PlayStation Vue carries CBS.